As the economic downturn deepens, and crime is on the rise, home should be the one place where you feel safe. It should be a secure place where your family and belongings are safe and the outside world is - Outside! Nothing is more worrying than the thought of your home being violated, but sadly this is becoming an increasingly regular occurrence. Burglaries are so common that some feel they hardly merit any mention, it is easy in this climate to feel utterly helpless, but householders can and should do more to protect themselves and their homes.
What Would A Burglar Do?
Most burglaries are carried out by opportunists who spot an easy target. Householders should identify weak spots and then get rid of them. Householders should take particular care to ensure that all doors (including gates and garage doors) are securely locked. They should look out for anything that could be used as a climbing tool, such as air con units. If you have outside storage, such as a shed adjacent to your property, can this be used as a stepping stone to upper levels? With town houses and quads, particular attention must be paid to the adjoining terraces and solariums, are your doors secure enough? If you have a ladder in your garden, make it is secured with a strong padlock and chain. The property should be well-lit and as free as possible of accessible hiding places.
No matter how sophisticated the security systems that have been installed, it is likely that somewhere along the line a key is needed to get into a property. Keeping keys safe is, therefore, a vital part of home security. If householders do not protect their keys and this leads to a theft or burglary it is possible that any subsequent insurance claim could be compromised. The insurance company may take the view that the policyholder contributed to the theft by their carelessness.
When moving into a new home, the most exciting moment will often be as the new owner holds the key in their hand and feels it turn in the lock for the first time. In the midst of their excitement householders rarely pause to ask themselves - how many other people have turned the key in this lock before? Or even, who else might have a key for this door? The first thing to do upon moving into a new home is to change the locks on any external doors.
Once a householder walks through their front door and hears it close behind them it is easy to feel safe. The natural thing to do is to leave keys somewhere near the front door -there may even be a hook or a special bowl where they always go. However, this is exactly what burglars expect people to do. By fishing through a window with a hook or rod, keys left near the window can easily be retrieved. House keys should never be labelled with the householder's address. If keys are labelled and lost, any dishonest person who finds them will know exactly where to go for an easy burglary.
Quick Security Tips
Basic home security tips should deter all but the most persistent burglar:
All doors and windows must be kept locked shut. Keys should be hidden away - not left within reach of a door or window.
A visible burglar alarm should be fitted and switched on.
Gates to entrances should also be robust and firmly locked.
The front door should be visible from the street and not obscured by any shrubbery.
If the household has just invested in a brand new, top of the range plasma television the packaging should not be left outside, this is an advertisement to burglars that the house is worth breaking into.
A spare key should never be kept under the front door mat, flower pot or buried in the garden.
Your household security should be treated as a priority, not an optional extra. The more difficult you make it for someone to gain entry, the less likely you are to be targeted. We do not want to give thieves an 'easy time'.
Written by: Richard Hackett
About the author:
Richard Hackett is the owner of Hackett Locksmiths. Hackett Locksmiths have been trading on the Costa Blanca for 5 years. We are qualified, legal, trusted and well respected within the community. We offer a full 24 hour locksmith service, including emergency door, safe and vehicle opening. We undertake work from residential, commercial, insurance and community clients and offer the best advice and products to suit all requirements and budgets. If you would like to discuss any questions with us or arrange a 'Free no obligation security appraisal', please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or view our website www.hackettlocksmith.com.
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